Flows to the Future
Flows to the Future is an ambitious project which is restoring areas of blanket bog in the heart of the Flow Country that have been damaged by forestry planting. It will also promote and develop our knowledge about the role of peat and carbon storage, and involve and connect people everywhere with this precious habitat, delivering real economic benefits for one of the least densely populated areas in Scotland.
The project is being delivered by the Peatlands Partnership with the lead partner being RSPB (Scotland).
The project is far reaching, ambitious and aims to significantly increase the level of conservation management and promotional activities currently being undertaken in the Flow Country.
The project will:
Restore 7 square miles of blanket bog habitat – removing forestry blocks, crushing brash and blocking furrows in areas where forestry has already been felled, and drain blocking, on RSPB Forsinard Flows National Nature Reserve.
Create a viewing tower – the Flows Lookout – and boardwalk on the existing Dubh Lochan Trail at Forsinard.
Develop five roadside interpretation sites across the Flow Country to give panoramic views of the peatlands and provide a trail for visitors to experience and learn about the peatlands.
Update and improve the Visitor Centre at Forsinard, provide improved parking and upgrade the interpretation on the existing Dubh Lochan Trail.
Increase the volunteering opportunities both at RSPB Forsinard Flows Reserve and elsewhere in Caithness and Sutherland, including provision of new volunteering accommodation in a new Field Centre at Forsinard.
Establish a peatland science centre of excellence at Forsinard, through provision of a small laboratory and accommodation within the new Field Centre to facilitate further research on the role of peatlands as a carbon store and on peatland restoration and biodiversity. This will develop linkages with a number of universities to further research and international collaboration.
Create improved and increased access, develop interpretation and learning opportunities for people across the Flow Country, including through a schools programme and community activities both at Forsinard and throughout Caithness and Sutherland.
Provide remote learning/awareness raising opportunities – an interactive website, film, online landscape model of the Flow Country and carbon capture game, creative community arts commissions to encourage people to engage with the Flows through the arts, a travelling exhibition about carbon and peatlands.
Promotion of the peatlands through a range of media - stay connected with us @TheFlowCountry
The project started on 4 July 2014 and will take place over 5 years.
Support for the Project
The Peatlands Partnership is grateful to the following for funders for supporting the project:
The Tubney Trust
Further funding comes from the sale of timber which is felled and sold as part of the peatland restoration undertaken during the project.
The Peatlands Partnership is also very grateful to the many individuals, organisations and businesses across Caithness and Sutherland and also beyond who have show their support for the project during its development and who are working with the project.